Billionaire Peter Lim's name, image used in online chats by impersonator; police reports filed

Billionaire Peter Lim has lodged two police reports about scammers pretending to be him and offering investment tips. PHOTOS: TELEGRAM/WHATSAPP CHANNELS OF SCAMMERS, VALENCIA CF

SINGAPORE - Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim's staff have lodged two police reports over scammers impersonating him and offering investment tips on several group chats in WhatsApp and Telegram.

The police confirmed on Thursday (Aug 11) that two reports were made - the first on June 20 and another on Aug 2.

Mr Lim's spokesman provided screenshots of the chats, in which someone impersonating the businessman said in messages in both English and Mandarin: "I am confident that I will lead you to earn 1 million SGD within half a year…"

The messages, which used Mr Lim's name and picture, also guaranteed people a successful outcome if they followed the instructions provided and offered stock trading classes to them.

Mr Lim, 69, has a net worth of US$2.4 billion (S$3.3 billion), according to Forbes. He does not have any social media accounts.

This is not the first time his name and photo have been misused. Police reports were also made in 2016 and 2017 over similar ruses.

The spokesman said Mr Lim is very concerned about the fake messages as he does not want anyone to fall victim to any scam.

Last year alone, victims in Singapore lost at least $633.3 million to scams, the police said earlier this year.

The police said at least 90 per cent of scams in Singapore originate from overseas, and described the scammers as syndicated, well resourced and technologically sophisticated.

Investment scams accounted for the most amount of money stolen, with 46,196 cases reported and victims losing $190.9 million in total. The largest amount taken in a single case was $6.4 million.

In May this year, at least 587 people reported losing $2.7 million in phishing scams involving scammers since the start of the year.

Those with information related to online scams are advised to call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit it online at their website.

For more information on scams, people can visit the Scam Alert website or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.

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